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Here’s how Cumberland County is spending its $65 million (so far)


The American Rescue Plan is a $1.9 trillion federal COVID-19 stimulus package approved in 2021. It includes provisions such as tax credits, unemployment benefit extensions and small business grants. 

As part of that program, Cumberland County received a total of $65,168,690 between June 2021 and June 22. Here is what has been spent so far, according to the county's 2023 Recovery Plan:

The county allocated $72,086 for COVID-19 vaccines. Some of the money remains unspent, so vaccinations at the Cumberland County Department of Public Health will continue being offered at no charge. 

During the pandemic, Cumberland County spent $166,000 on COVD-19 testing, as well as funding more than $960,000 in medical reimbursements for COVID treatments. Both allocations have been depleted, and the programs have ended. 

The county also allocated $500,000 for a rental assistance program to help those struggling to pay rent because of financial hardships during the pandemic. That program has also closed. 

Cumberland's Small Business Economic Assistance Program has provided $1,844,768 for small businesses across the county. In total, 50 businesses have received grants of as much as $50,000 to close gaps created by negative economic impact from the pandemic. As of September, applications for the grants have closed and all funds are set to be distributed.

The county also planned for $11.4 million in ARP funding to recruit and compensate county staff; some of those funds still remain. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center also used $10 million for staffing of both officers and jail employees.

The county used $2,904,690 to help administer the funding, with costs going to administrators and  finance accountants and to cover supply, advertising and other operating expenses.

Beyond the money already spent, Cumberland County has plans to spend the $38.7 million remaining on myriad projects. 

The county allocated $2 million for a job training program that would allow for Cumberland residents to access “accelerated training for high-demand trades through on-the-job training with local businesses,” according to its ARP report.  

Another $283,987 has been set aside for rural and remote broadband expansion, allowing greater internet access to more than 2,000 homes. 

A total of $22 million will go toward revitalizing the Shaw Heights neighborhood, including a $9.3 million sewer project to address failing septic systems and a $12.7 million affordable housing project for low- to moderate-income families in the area. That project has yet to begin. 

And $10 million will go toward improving and repairing the Gray’s Creek water infrastructure. The area is dealing with PFAS contamination from nearby chemical plants. This project is in its infancy, but commissioners recently approved a study to provide wells to the area. 

The county allocated $3 million to improve its boardroom with additional seating and better air quality to allow for safe social distancing at meetings.

Contact Char Morrison at cmorrison@cityviewnc.com.

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Cumberland County, American Rescue Plan, COVID-19